In The Upper Room
A Women's Gathering
Our regular Filipino Life Group meeting was cancelled last Friday. Instead of having a quiet evening at home, some of the ladies in the group decided to get together in one of their homes for dinner and socialising. I was really chuffed to be invited, as it had been a long time since I was included in a women's group.
I went there with no expectations, except to eat and socialise. Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by everyone. However, I soon discovered that most of them conversed with one other in their own language (Tagalog), leaving one or two of them to converse with me in English in order to keep me company. Still, I was happy to be there, if only to see the love between them as they laughed and teased one another (as it appeared to me).
Two hours passed, the food had all been eaten, the laughter had ceased, everyone was on the sofa looking full and tired. They looked like they could just crash out under a blanket; surely, going home was next on the agenda. But unbeknownst to any of us, the Holy Spirit had a different plan. Home was not next on the agenda at all, but something completely unexpected and spectacular was about to happen...
A Holy Spirit Visitation
As I sat among the women, their attention turned to me, and discussions started on "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and "Speaking in Tongues". Questions were fired at me on these two subjects, and I answered the best I could. During this time, among many other things, two significant things transpired:
One woman had spoken in tongues only twice before in her life, and never again since. She just hadn't been able to do it again. I urged her that she should be able to speak in tongues again as the Holy Spirit had already given her the ability to do so; she just needed to yield to Him and let Him use her vocal cords. She just needed to partner up with Him.
Another woman had been given the gift of Prophecy. She would often hear God speaking to her about people and their situations. Bible verses would come thick and fast, which God would ask her to share on Facebook, etc. -- but she would be overcome with fear, afraid she may hear God incorrectly. So, she would keep the words to herself, only to see that things would happen just as she had heard in the first place. It has been two years since she last allowed herself to prophesy.
As I heard this second woman speak, I discerned the spirit of Fear controlling her, hampering her from speaking the Word of God to her brothers and sisters - words of life, of encouragement, of direction, and of instruction (because this is the level of prophecy that she has been given by God). I saw that many people in her circle have lost out because of the fear that was over her; she needed to be freed from this. So, I called all the women to gather around to pray for her. Everyone held hands where they were (almost in a semi-circle), except me; I stood behind the woman as I had in mind to cast out the spirit of Fear. The woman who spoke tongues only twice before held the hand of the woman with the gift of Prophecy as they were sitting next to each other.
I began my prayer with praise and thanksgiving to God for the women gathering, and for the gift of Prophecy He has given to this (second) woman. Then, I addressed the spirit of Fear, took authority over it, and began to command it to leave. Just then this (second) woman let out a cry, immediately followed by an outburst of tongues. After a few minutes, the other woman (who spoke tongues only twice before) also started to burst out in tongues. Both were now speaking in tongues rather loudly as I continued my prayer. Before long, I also heard another (third) woman crying aloud.
When I looked around the group, I saw that just about every woman in the semi-circle was crying one way or another. The third woman who cried aloud was, by now, looking like she was desperate to say the name Jesus - which she eventually did. The room was electric, sounds of tongues and praises to God could be heard in amongst all the crying. The Holy Spirit had come among us and ministered to each and every one, as each had need.
After some time, the sounds began to get quieter, and then to whispers, and eventually to silence. As we all opened our eyes, we looked at each other and cried out, "Wow! That was amazing and completely unexpected!" We were all astounded! This was more than dinner and socialising -- this was a date with the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah!
A Round of Testimonies
As the women dried their eyes in sobs and smiles, I saw just how the Holy Spirit had travelled. He started from the first woman on the left, right through to the last woman on the right. Hence why the outburst of tongues and the crying happened in the order they did. It was an astounding revelation; a revelation which inspired me to ask each and every woman from left to right to share as to how they had experienced the Holy Spirit.
It was an amazing round of testimonies! Some brief, some more in depth. The brief ones were as follows:
One woman cried as she felt her heart swell up with emotion and compassion for the woman we were praying for.
Two had a vision of seeing the colour "white" in their mind's eye ("white" signifying the presence of God). One of these women also had a feeling that she was about to be prophesied over.
One was so overwhelmed with all the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that were happening to everyone that she became afraid and cried, but at the same time, she felt unexplained happiness in her heart.
One confessed she had come from a reserved Christian denomination, and had never experienced anything like this before, but she loved what she saw and heard, and thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Another, being still a new Christian, said that she also felt an overwhelming emotion to cry, and that she simply allowed herself to cry.
But there are four other testimonies that I shall describe in more detail here:
The woman who spoke in tongues only twice before has now just experienced her third time! She was ecstatic about it, and said that she felt she could control it, so she will speak more tongues in the future. I encouraged her to do so because it will edify her, and is also a powerful tool for intercession and spiritual warfare.
The woman who cried the loudest said that when she heard the two women spoke in tongues, she could understand that they were praising God! At this, I discerned that she had been given the gift of "the interpretation of tongues", which she is excited about. She also saw the name "Jesus" written on her own forehead. She didn't know how she could see this or what was happening to her, but she had a strong urge to shout out loud the name "Jesus". She held herself back because she felt inhibited to do so. She didn't recall calling out His name, but I assured her that she did because I saw and heard her do so (as I mentioned above). Later, she questioned why His name was written on her forehead. I gave her a scripture which could explain this Revelation 22:4, but I felt it was also because the Holy Spirit was wanting the Name Jesus to be glorified in that moment of praises and speaking in tongues.
The woman who was given the gift to prophecy (for whom we were all praying) said that she saw God's huge hand over us all as we were praying, crying and speaking in tongues. Wow! We were bowled over about this! When asked about the fear she had, she said that she no longer feels afraid to prophesy. The spirit of Fear had gone, and she will now go back to operating in her gift of prophecy. I asked if she had any word for anyone in the group, and sure enough she prophesied over one of the women (who had already been given the feeling that she would be prophesied over, mentioned earlier). Both women broke down in tears, as one prophesied over the other. It was a very touching moment to witness. This is the kind of Godly moments that the enemy had been trying to obstruct in these past two years, but now, no more... !!
I also stated and believe that the woman who had been given the gift to prophesy will prophesy in tongues too, and the other one (who saw the name Jesus on her forehead) will interpret those tongues. They both smiled, as I said this, because they already work together as colleagues in their earthly profession. And so, it seemed that God wanted them to work together in the spiritual realm, too.
The final testimony came from a woman who was following the Muslim faith, but had been fellowshipping with us for some time now. When the Holy Spirit made His round, she felt some kind of tingling coming from the top of her head going right down to her feet. She wanted to shout the name "Jesus", but a voice in her mind said "No!". Then she felt a dark destructive power trying to engulf her (which would be the spirit of Islam/Antichrist). Again, she wanted to scream the name "Jesus", but somehow she couldn't, it was preventing her, so all she could do instead was to cry. Later that night as I gave her a lift home, she said that when she was crying during the Holy Spirit visitation, she could almost see the face of Jesus among us, in our circle -- just like how she had seen Him in the film "Risen" when He sat among His disciples after His resurrection. She saw His face so clearly and could also hear Him calling her. Wow, what power, what love He has for her and for all of us!
An Upper Room Experience Indeed!
I saw the goodness and the power of God through His Holy Spirit that night, manifesting among us. As I pondered on this, I realised that this is reminiscent of what happened in the "Upper Room", mentioned both at Jesus's last supper (Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12) and at the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:13). Indeed, what took place with us that night took place in the kitchen/dining room located on the upper floor of the house -- our very own "upper room". There were 11 of us, which is the number of Jesus' disciples before Judas was replaced. We all had goose pimples as we spoke about this. Let there be many more "upper room experiences" as God pours out His Spirit in these last days, just as He promised:
Acts 2:17-18 / Joel 2:28-29
17 ‘“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
As the evening came to an end, husbands turned up at the door to pick up their wives. Frantic conversations (in Tagalog) were heard among them. I could only assume the wives were telling their husbands about what had happened. It was like dry wood catching fire - everyone was ablaze -- including me; I went home rejoicing, impatient to share everything with Rob, too.
All the glory be to God, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit!
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.